Wearing a paper towel.Posted: January 28, 2010
Today I went to a new doctor. My old dermatologist moved. I avoided going and starting with another because, well, for no good reason.
I went to the new office, filled out a couple pages of information about myself and went back to an examining room. The nurse spoke to me for a few minutes, then handed me a folded paper thing and instructed me to hang my clothes up and cover myself with the paper sheet. She left the room and I did what she asked me to.
Even though she said paper sheet, my mind convinced me what she meant was paper hospital gown.
As I unfolded the paper I realized that when she referred to the folded paper as a paper sheet, that is literally what it was. A paper sheet. It was actually a lot like a big paper towel, slightly reinforced…maybe four feet long.
So now I’m sitting there holding the quicker picker upper over my various parts. I’ve got time to think about my plight.
Soon the doctor will come in. Yes, she is a medical professional and my being covered in Bounty is at her behest. It isn’t like I walked into a random office, took off my clothes and swaddled myself in wood pulp fiber. Still, I’m uncomfortable.
What is the etiquette here? I am meeting someone new. I was raised to stand and shake hands when that happens. Of course, I think my folks assumed I would not be wearing a paper sheet while I met new people. How difficult would it have been to make some paper sleeves and stick them on the paper sheet? I decide it is best to go with a left hand sheet hold and shake with my right.
“Oh no, don’t get up” she says as she comes in. The doctor leads off with a ten minute discussion of skin cancer, sun exposure, protecting the skin and my genetic disposition toward skin cancer. Actually, it was very informative. Much more so than my previous dermatologist ever was. I would have liked to make some notes on what she told me, but there is no pocket in my paper sheet, so I don’t have a pen. Nothing but my giblets under the sheet.
The doctor is actually very nice and educates me quite a bit as she works. She initially recommends before the exam starts that I get back on the schedule of getting checked yearly. As she works, she amends that to every six months. She is making a lot of notes. It’s not looking good for the guy wearing the paper towel.
I have six biopsies ahead of me. Six. I’ve had them before, but one, maybe two at a time. Six. Maybe I shouldn’t have waited so long. They’ve all been OK in the past. They will be this time.
You shouldn’t wait either.
I’m considering bringing some masking tape and making an apron sort of thing out of the paper sheet when I go back. I know she’s going to tell me not to get up. It just seems like something I should be doing though.